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FRAMEWORKS: Zechariah 12: Amazing Triumph and yet national mourning


[Preliminary Comment: Ezekiel (Ezek 38) had prophesied about God drawing nations in the End Times to come against Israel to be destroyed. This chapter appears to be Zechariah's equivalent of the same thing. What follows is a double work of God. First He will bring nations of the world to face judgment at the hands of Israel within their land [v.1-9] but then He will move upon their hearts to open their currently blind eyes to realise they had rejected their Messiah and a great national mourning will follow.

We should note that the ‘prophecy' begins in verse 1 and appears to continue on through the next two final chapters of the book. The emphasis is on a specific time of history designated by God as part of His agenda highlighted by the words “On that day” that appear no less than fourteen times in these three chapters, each time picking up a specific event in a long series of events.]



v.1,2 The Sovereign all-powerful Creator will use Jerusalem against other nations


v.1  A prophecy: the word of the Lord concerning Israel.

The Lord, who stretches out the heavens, who lays the foundation of the earth, and who forms the human spirit within a person, declares:

v.2  ‘I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem.


[Notes: The word about the future [v.1 – prophecy] emphasizes God's sovereign greatness as He declares His intent in the days to come to use Jerusalem as a means of bringing judgment on surrounding nations.]


v.3 It will be a world-wide rebellion coming against Jerusalem


v.3  On that day [1], when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves.


[Notes: There will be a specific day in God's economy when multiple nations [an ungodly form of the United Nations?] rise against Jerusalem to their own harm. Event No.1.]


v.4,5 When they come, complete chaos will reign among them


v.4   On that day [2] I will strike every horse with panic and its rider with madness,' declares the Lord. ‘I will keep a watchful eye over Judah, but I will blind all the horses of the nations.

v.5  Then the clans of Judah will say in their hearts, “The people of Jerusalem are strong, because the Lord Almighty is their God.”


[Notes: When that time comes God will act against them on behalf of Jerusalem. Event No.2.]


v.6-7 At that specific time, those nations will be destroyed in the land


v.6  ‘On that day [3] I will make the clans of Judah like a brazier in a woodpile, like a flaming torch among sheaves. They will consume all the surrounding peoples right and left, but Jerusalem will remain intact in her place.

v.7 ‘The Lord will save the dwellings of Judah first, so that the honour of the house of David and of Jerusalem's inhabitants may not be greater than that of Judah.


[Notes: The Lord will cause the people of Israel to triumph in the land, destroying the invaders so that Jerusalem is saved, bringing glory to the whole land. Event No.3.]


v.8 The Lord will be their protection and security


v.8 On that day [4] the Lord will shield those who live in Jerusalem, so that the feeblest among them will be like David, and the house of David will be like God, like the angel of the Lord going before them.


[Notes: The Lord will also shield the inhabitants of Jerusalem. Event No.4.]


v.9,10 At that time all the invaders will be destroyed


v.9  On that day [5] I will set out to destroy all the nations that attack Jerusalem.

v.10 ‘And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.


[Notes: Not only will this be a time of triumph for Israel, but it will also be a time when their eyes are opened to realise they had rejected their Messiah. Event No.5.]


v.11-14 Although a military triumph there will be national heart grief


v.11   On that day [6] the weeping in Jerusalem will be as great as the weeping of Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo.

v.12  The land will mourn, each clan by itself, with their wives by themselves: the clan of the house of David and their wives, the clan of the house of Nathan and their wives,

v.13  the clan of the house of Levi and their wives, the clan of Shimei and their wives,

v.14  and all the rest of the clans and their wives.


[Notes: This national mourning will sweep out form Jerusalem across the whole land, each family taking on their own individual personal responsibility. Event No.6.


Summary: So far we have seen the following events declared in this prophecy:

•  The world coming against Jerusalem

•  The Lord will throw them into confusion

•  He will enable Israel to destroy them

•  He will ensure Jerusalem is protected

•  He will open the eyes of Israel to see they have rejected their Messiah

•  Their mourning will sweep across the entire nation.]



Continue to Chapter 13